New Research Could Help Eliminate Salmonella In Meat

Salmonella poisoning is one of the most common types of food poisoning in the world, attributable to approximately one million cases in Americans every year. According to, new research from out West could drastically reduce this specific poison’s prevalence.

Researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno, in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources believe they’ve come up with a way to “naturally” reduce Salmonella bacteria in meat products by 90% through the use of bacteriophages.

“We were able to reduce Salmonella by as much as 90% in ground poultry, ground pork, and ground beef,” said Assistant Professor Amilton de Mello. “We’re excited to be able to show such good results. Food safety is an important part of our work and Salmonella is one of the most prevalent bacteria in the nation’s food supply.”

The bacteriophages, which are technically viruses, used are in this process are known as Myoviridae. Myoviridae is a natural predator of Salmonella and does not harm humans, animals, or plants. Four specific types of Salmonella were tested during the study. The results were positive.

“On the final ground meat products, there was a 10-fold decrease of Salmonella,” de Mello said. “The results are very encouraging and we’re hoping this can be adopted by the meat industry to increase food safety.”

Approximately one in six Americans gets sick annually by consuming contaminated foods or beverages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the one million cases Salomonella alone is responsible for, an estimated 19,000 people are hospitalized and 400 are typically killed as a result.

While it might not be the deadliest form of food poisoning around, it is the cause of a significant amount of illness and widespread utilization of this new process could have a big impact in eradicating the condition’s potential from the country’s meats.

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